The reason even experienced preppers and survivalists are active in online forums, read blogs, and regularly add books to their home survival libraries is because there is always more to learn. One excellent resource of information is the website of Robert Wayne Atkins, also known to many as ‘Grandpappy’. His article, “The One Minute Meltdown” is one of the most popular linked-to articles in the history of my blog, and now he’s published, “What to do right now if the hard times have begun and you are not prepared.”
Hard times begin with two scenarios, as explained by Grandpappy
- You have some money and many local stores are still open for business. There’s time to prepare and resources are available.
- Stores are all closed, whether you have money or not, and banks are closed, making it impossible to access any money that you have.
From this point, Grandpappy explains,
Hard times are inevitable. The only things we do not know about hard times in advance are:
- the trigger event,
- the severity of the hard times, and
- the duration of the hard times.
Trigger events can be localized, such as an earthquake or tornado, or they can be very widespread, caused by an economic collapse or war. This leaves me wondering if, perhaps, the recent downgrade of America’s credit rating may be looked back upon as a trigger event. Whatever the trigger, desperation will mount. Grandpappy offers this sobering view of the future:
It really doesn’t matter if you and 5% (or 30%) of the rest in the people in the world can afford to buy food, or if some percentage of families already have an emergency food supply. The people who can’t afford food and who do not have an emergency food supply will not simply sit down and wait to die a peaceful, quiet, extremely unpleasant death due to starvation. They will do the same things today that starving people have always done in the past. It will begin with just a few people in each area reverting to savage behavior. Then you will hear about small organized groups of people who are engaging in savage behavior. Then each geographical region will be overrun by a huge uncontrollable mob of people who are starving and they will do anything to anybody in order to survive.
America hasn’t faced a famine, the dust bowl not withstanding, but a few events have caught my attention recently and caused me to think hard about the food supply of our nation. First, massive flooding along the Mississippi River damaged valuable farmland earlier this year. Thousands of acres of land were flooded, washing away spring crops, and many farming families are still displaced.
A recent headline reads, ‘41% of U.S. in Major Drought‘. Ranchers in the midwest and Texas are selling off most or all of their cattle because there is no water and grass to feed them. This may lower the price of beef, temporarily, but until the drought ends, cattle ranches may become ghost towns. A cow can only have one calf per year. Even if a rancher is able to hold on to a portion of his stock, it will take a couple of years to build it back up. And, of course, the drought is affecting crops. A friend in Texas told me of driving past miles of cornfields filled with dead, dry plants. The effects of a drought are long-term and very serious.
I can’t think of a single reason why food prices shouldn’t increase or why we might not experience food shortages, even famine, in America someday. We can import food from other countries, but will they be willing to sell food if they are also experiencing shortages. And how eager will they be to sell to a country that is trillions of dollars in debt and who no longer has a top-notch credit rating?
Grandpappy, in his wisdom, notes that a complete breakdown may not ever happen. Governments may still continue to, somehow, keep water, sewage, and power systems running, but the key is to be as self-reliant as possible. Thinking that our current level of prosperity and comfort will continue forever, isn’t realistic, and to that end, Grandpappy offers lists of essential items to make sure you’re as prepared as possible.
Read the entire article and review his lists here. It’s great food for thought and a terrific, practical resource.